Police said the Wisconsin man who fled the scene a crash that killed three young girls and one of the girls’ mother this weekend has admitted to inhaling chemical vapors before the wreck.
NBC News reports that Colten Treu, 21, fatally mowed down Jayna Kelley, 9; Autumn Helgeson, 10; Halee Hickle, 10; and her mother, Sara Jo Schneider, 32. A 10-year-old girl who was initially admitted to the hospital in critical condition is now said to be in stable condition.
Seven children and five adults were reportedly wearing green safety vests while picking up trash on the side of County Highway P in Lake Hallie. Police said the group was working in a ditch at 11:40 a.m. when Treu’s black Ford F-150 pickup truck, traveling north, crossed over a lane and struck them.
Treu and his passenger allegedly fled the scene but reportedly surrendered to police five hours later. Citing police, CNN reported that the pair admitted to huffing prior to the deadly wreck.
According to Fox News, prosecutors said Treu was found to be under the influence of drugs in September when he was involved in a rollover crash in another county.
Treu is currently jailed on four counts of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle, four counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, four counts of hit-and-run involving death, and one count of hit-and-run involving great bodily harm. His bail was set Monday to $250,000.
“Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes asks that you please keep the Nokomis Service Area volunteers and families in your thoughts and prayers as they grapple with this senseless loss,” the organization said in a statement posted to Facebook.
*Edited* It is with profound sadness that we share the news of a tragic loss in our Girl Scout sisterhood. On Saturday,…
[Featured Image: Colten Treu/Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office]